INDY RACING TEAMS BEGIN PREP FOR BELTERRA CASINO INDY 300 AT KENTUCKY Defending Champ Lazier Among Drivers
With wins in three of the last four Indy Racing Northern Light Series races, Buddy Lazier is not resting on his laurels. Less than 24 hours after he won in Nashville Sunday, the 2000 Indy Racing League Champion started turning laps at Kentucky Speedway preparing to defend his title in the Belterra Casino Indy 300 on August 12.
"We were right back to business," said Lazier, driver of the No. 91Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. "A lot of times after you win a race, it's hard to put that behind you. Now all of a sudden the win is over, and you're just another team looking for a win."
Joining Lazier on Monday, July 23 were Eddie Cheever, driver of the No. 51 Cheever Indy Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone and Shigeaki Hattori, driver of the No. 55 EPSON Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. All three turned laps of over 216 mph on a sultry hot day with temperatures surpassing 90 degrees.
In the inaugural Belterra Casino Indy 300 last year, Lazier led three times for 48 laps taking the lead for good on lap 171. Scott Goodyear finished second (-1.879 seconds) with rookie Sarah Fisher earning a then career-best third.
Lazier, the 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner, is setting his sights on following Greg Ray and Scott Sharp as drivers who successfully defended their 2000 race titles this season. Ray did so in April at Atlanta; Sharp in June at Texas.
The "Belterra Casino Indy 300" weekend begins with the "Jani-King Short Track Special" Friday night, August 10. MBNA Pole Qualifying begins at noon on Saturday, August 11, followed by the "84 WHAS 150" NASCAR Gatorade All Pro race.
Sunday, August 12 begins with return of the popular Indy Racing Fan Brunch in the garage area. This year the two-hour brunch features music by "Blessid Union Of Souls", an autograph session with Indy Racing drivers and University of Kentucky Head Basketball Coach Tubby Smith, the race's Grand Marshal.
"I love this track," said Lazier. "It's a beautiful facility. I can't wait to come back."
Seats are available for all the three days. A special ticket is available for Sunday. "The Kroger Family Pack" allows fans to purchase four tickets for the "Belterra Casino Indy 300" and four brunch passes for $99.00. The offer is available until Thursday, August 10.